The Theosophical Forum – May 1937


Those who believe in Karma have to believe in destiny, which, from birth to death, every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider does his cobweb, and this destiny is guided either by the heavenly voice of the invisible prototype outside of us, or by our more intimate astral, or inner man. — The Secret Doctrine, I, 639

Evolution is a most instructive, enlightening, and fascinating theme for contemplation, as it encompasses everything in the universe. Evolution means growth, the coming forth, unfolding, unrolling, unwrapping, of that which from a preceding past existed or inhered in the invisible atom or germ, seed or ovum, active or latent within. This unrolling adventure points to a fascinating journey spiritward, which marks a trail that leads to enlightenment, wisdom, and the sublime Ultimate which Theosophists call That.

Let us think first of the coming forth of man. The Monad or divine soul imbodies itself in an atom which, expanding itself into a germ-cell or ovum comes forth as a newly born babe, and after a score or more years has unfolded into a finely endowed intelligent human being. Let us assume that through many future rebirths, having unrolled successively superb psycho-mental, intellectual, and spiritual faculties, he finally issues forth as a demigod. Already a relative state of perfection has been attained and through numerous future incarnations he blossoms forth as a rare specimen of the race — a god-man, a Buddha or Christ!

Just as the divine soul or Monad in man has unwrapped from itself its active or latent forces, energies, substances, and talents, so unfold all the inherent forces and energies from within the sidereal orbs which so brilliantly stud the vast celestial blue. The cosmic atom gradually unfolds itself into a cosmic seed, and ages later unrolls into a nebula (a glittering wisp of milky-white substance) which may be seen as great star-containing cloudlike masses in our Home Universe or Milky Way. In future ages the nebula shall have blossomed forth as a wandering comet, thence into a planet, from a planet through distant future aeons into a sun, then into a solar system, and finally in far distant ages into a galaxy or Milky Way. This brief outline reveals the analogy between human and cosmic evolution through a harmonious process of becoming impelled from within.

. . . with inner growth comes expanding vision on the one hand and the expanding consciousness to interpret that vision on the other hand. — Golden Precepts of Esotericism

As Life is continuous and endless, so is evolution endless and continuous. Nothing stands still, either one goes forward and advances or goes downwards and retrogrades. Inherent and behind all evolution is present an irresistible, impelling self-urge (Swabhava), driving every ensouling entity without exception into fuller self-expression and expanding consciousness. In man, however, is manifest an ever-increasing self-consciousness accompanying his unfolding intellectual and spiritual faculties. Hence, under the inspiring stream of influences flowing from the Higher Self or Inner God, the human soul is activated to express more lofty soul-stirring attributes, which make for a fine and noble character, especially when the spiritual aspect of desire calls forth the buddhic qualities. This practice of quickening spiritual desires hastens one's spiritual evolution.

What retards one's higher evolution? It is the lower, personal nature when it manifests aspects of selfishness, of weakness, including careless and uncontrolled thoughts, acts, and speech, which from early youth until death weave themselves like a web around one and create an unhappy destiny. They fatten egotism and forge more closely the fetters of uncontrolled hatred, jealousy, envy, covetousness, and pride of intellectual and spiritual attainment, as well as pride of material and personal possessions. Thus they imprison the lower self.

What hastens spiritual evolution? The very reverse. Right thought, right speech, right action, self-knowledge, and self-mastery. To hold fast to an ideal once conceived helps to energize spiritual desire and perseverance, which lead to self-identification with that ideal, consequently refining and elevating the personality. All this can be achieved by practising the sublime Virtues or Paramitas.

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